Along the Mekong to Saigon
- Itinerary:Phnom Penh - Chau Doc - Can Tho - Mekong Delta - Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)
- Duration:7 days / 6 nights (flexible)
- Price:from £ 535.- per person (excluding flights)
Days 1-2 – Phnom Penh – guided city tour & Killing Fields
Arriving in Phnom Penh, you’ll settle into your comfortable, central hotel and get ready to explore. It’s a colourful, chaotic city filled with activity, noise and bags of local character. Wander along the boulevard lining the Mekong River, gaze up at the spires of the Silver Pagoda glinting in the sunshine and grab an authentic Khmer curry.
On Day 2 you’ll take a city tour with a local guide. First, you’ll learn about the horror of Cambodia’s past by visiting the Tuol Sleng Museum, once a high school that was turned into the largest high security prison in the country in the 1970’s. Then, you’ll head for the chilling Killing Fields, a terrifying sprawl of mass graves in the countryside beyond Phnom Penh. Afterwards, things will take a lighter turn and you’ll stop by the Aspara Foundation, an inspiring charity that trains Cambodian children in tourism and local arts.
Day 3 – Phnom Penh – Chau Doc
Today, you’ll leave Cambodia behind and set sail along the Mekong for Vietnam. It’s really important to arrange your Vietnamese visa in advance, because it will not be granted on arrival. You’ll moor up, get the red tape out of the way and drift into Vietnam, where you’ll stay in a riverside hotel at Chau Doc. It’s a lively, interesting place to get a feel for life along the banks of the Mekong.
Day 4 – Chau Doc – Can Tho
Today, you’ll visit an ancient Cham village in Vietnam before leaving the river bustle behind and heading into the forest for an eco-experience. Tra Su Cajuput forest and bird sanctuary is an ecological haven in the heart of the Mekong Delta. A natural home to hundreds of water birds, bats and reptiles, it’s packed with wildlife. You’ll float through the meandering canals, keeping your eyes peeled along the way.
Afterwards, you’ll travel to Can Tho, a thriving delta outpost on the riverbank, filled with local colour, chaotic markets, small restaurants and lively bars. You’ll spend a night in a comfortable hotel directly on the riverbank before your adventure continues tomorrow.
Day 5 – Can Tho – Vinh Long – Cai Be – Ho Chi Minh
You’ll set off early this morning for a trip to Cai Rang, the busiest – and noisiest – floating market in South East Asia. It’s nothing short of eye-opening! You’ll swap into a smaller boat to get a close up look at the action, where rowing boats overspill with vegetables and vendors out-shout each other for customers.
Afterwards, you’ll continue to Ho Chi Minh City (also known as Saigon) by boat and car. You’ll spend two nights in a comfortable hotel in District 1. Smack bang in the centre of the city, it’s close to a chaotic jumble of shops, bars and restaurants. Saigon is an intense but infectious place packed with a tangle of motorbikes, street food stalls and markets.
Days 6-7 – Ho Chi Minh
Day 6 is completely your own to explore Saigon at your own pace. Wander through the ramshackle stalls of Ben Thanh market, visit the chilling War Remnants Museum, take a cooking class and amble through the palatial grounds of the Independence Palace. For a breather, pull up a plastic chair on the sidewalk and sip a sweet, thick Vietnamese coffee as the chaos swirls around you.
In the evening, there’s an adventure in store. Hopping on a vintage Vespa scooter with a local guide, you’ll zip through the maze of side streets and alleyways in search of Saigon’s finest streetfood. Stopping at hole-in-the-wall restaurants and hidden stalls, you’ll sample some delicious traditional dishes and meet some great personalities along the way. On the morning of Day 7, the trip comes to an end and you’ll continue your Vietnam adventure.